Indiana Cruises Past Troy for 4th Straight Win

Tom Brew

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana got senior co-captain Devonte Green back on the floor Saturday night, and it was no coincidence that the Hoosiers had their best offensive night of the season with his return.

Indiana moved to 4-0 with an easy 100-62 win over Troy. Green didn't have great individual numbers in his first real game since March — he scored 6 points on 2 of 8 shooting and was just 1-for-6 from the 3-point line —but it was good to have him back out there after missing the first three games with a hamstring injury, especially since sophomore point guard Rob Phinisee had to miss the game with an illness.

"He got 19 good minutes,'' Indiana coach Archie Miller said of Green. "He hasn't practiced at all really. He had a couple days leading into (Saturday night), but that was it. We were hoping 15 to 20 (minutes) that he could give us, especially knowing Rob was going to be out.

"I'm just glad he's not hampered or sore. I think athletically he's back, but he's got to shake some rust off and get his feet under him. He'll be fine. He plays an important role for us. I think when he was in there, he forced one turnover and took some shots that he'll make down the line. It's good to have him back. I think at some point, you know (knocking on wood) get them all back, especially in the backcourt, will be nice. That's where we've really been needing our depth to come through.''

One of the priorities for the Hoosiers coming into the game was to defend the 3-point line  better, and they did that. It had been an issue the previous two outings against Portland State and North Alabama, where shooters got off early against the Hoosiers.

That wasn't the case against Troy. The Trojans were just 2-for-11 from long range in the first half, and just 5-for-25 all night. It helped Indiana jump out to a quick lead and never look back.

"We were better with our details in getting back, and not giving up very many easy ones in transition was a huge part,'' Miller said. "I thought our guys on the ball did a much better job to start the game in terms of our pressure and just not letting them be comfortable.

"A couple we did give up, we probably broke down in the areas we normally have been doing. But over the course of the first half in particular, I think they were 2-for-11 at halftime and that was a good step. In the first half I thought we dictated a little bit of their misses. That's a big part moving forward. The three-point line is huge.''

Indiana was crisp offensively all night, shooting 54 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range. Junior forward Justin Smith had a big night, leading the Hoosiers with 22 points on a nearly perfect night, making 8 of 9 shots, both 3-pointers and all four free throws. Al Durham and Trayce Jackson-Davis each had 17 points and sophomore Damezi Anderson had another big game off the bench, scoring 14 points.

Durham went 3-for-4 from 3-point range and Jackson-Davis, the true freshman, had his second double-double, getting 17 points and 14 rebounds. Indiana had another huge night on the boards getting 15 offensive rebounds and a lot of second-chance points.

"It's a huge part of the game when you have the ability to offensive rebound. It breaks the opponents's back on second shots,'' Miller said. "Typically you're going to get a basket, a good look off some type of offensive rebound, or get fouled. That's a huge part to what we're doing. I've been saying it since the start of the season. This team has got to be a great rebounding team and great on defense.

"We are consistently  rebounding the ball with a good concentration level. It's something that's on our mind. That's a strength, something we have to have as a part of what we're doing.''

Indiana is back on the floor on Wednesday against Princeton, one of the favorites in the Ivy League.

"We're 4-0, and we'll take all the four of them,'' Miller said. "We have Princeton on Wednesday, an Ivy League contender, with a terrific big guy. We've got our work cut out for us coming back, so we got to find a way to get a little better next time out. Wednesday night I think we'll get tested a lot differently, especially inside.''

It's early, sure, but Indiana has been passing all of its tests so far. 

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